The Tree of Life

The Tree of Life
Director: Terrence Malick

USA, Drama, 2011, 138 min
The film follows the life journey of Jack O’Brien. It goes through the innocence of the eldest son of a three-child Midwestern family in 1950's America’s childhood to his disillusioned adult years as he tries to reconcile a complicated relationship with his father. Jack finds himself a lost soul in the modern world, in his remembrances of his childhood seeking answers to the meaning of life. The story unfolds symphonically, like a piece of music divided into movements and tracing the evolution of a single life – that of Jack. Lingering reminiscences about his father’s anger, his mother’s love, his brother’s death, and his own struggles with meaning and faith play out within the vast beauty and the recursive rhythms of the universe itself. Jack’s human struggles become part of the cosmos’ as he begins to sense his ultimate destiny. The Tree of Life is the most epic work – a quest that traverses from today’s urban corporate towers to a 1950s Texas family’s back yard, and at the same time, from the beginnings of life on earth to the end of the known universe, in search of what is true, what is lasting, what is infinite. It is a deep love story about how love emerges from life and life emerges from love.


2011 – The Palme d'Or at the 64th Cannes Film Festival (France).

About the director:

Terrence Malick is a legendary American film director, born in Illinois in 1943. After he spent his childhood in Texas and Oklahoma, Malick graduated from Harvard University in 1966. Later he attended Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar, worked for The New Yorker magazine, and taught philosophy at prestigious MIT before going to the American Film Institute in Los Angeles. Malick is one of the great enigmas of American contemporary filmmaking, a shadowy figure whose towering reputation rests largely only on five works “The Tree of Life”, “Badlands” (1973), “The Days of Heaven” (1978), “The Thin Red Line” (1998) and “The New World” (2005). A visual stylist beyond compare, Malick emerged during the golden era of 1970’s American moviemaking, bringing to the screen a dreamlike, ethereal beauty countered by elliptical, ironic storytelling; resonant and mythic, his films illuminated themes of love and death with rare camera mastery, their indelible images distinguished by economy and precision.
Section: Wide Angle

Screenplay: Terrence Malick

Dir. of Photography: Emmanuel Lubezki

Music: Alexandre Desplat

Cast: Brad Pitt, Sean Penn, Jessica Chastain, Hunter McCracken